The former owner of a Sarasota consignment store will be spending the next seven years in a federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday on Friday sentenced Roderick B. Sears, 34, of Sarasota to seven years and 10 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearms.
The case stems from a bust by the Sarasota Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff's Office of the Nifty Thrifty consignment shop, 2101 19th St., on July 27, 2012, where cocaine, Hydromorphone and guns were seized in the raid. He was then indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2012 on gun charges
Sears pleaded guilty on Nov. 7, 2012.
The court also ordered Sears to forfeit the seven firearms and ammunition he had.
According to court documents, Sears has multiple prior drug felony convictions, prohibiting him from possessing guns and ammo.
In the July 2012 raid, Sears possessed seven firearms, five of which were loaded. He also had more than 300 grams of marijuana, which he intended to distribute and had packaged for sale, according to the Department of Justice.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, and the Sarasota Police Department. It was be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.
It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy led by ATF.